Vicar's Letter

      All change

Each month seems to have its own character and most of us have a feeling about particular seasons which invigorate us or sap our energy.   May is my favourite month with the promise of longer, warmer days and the freshness of new green foliage and wonderful, colourful shrubs.   It is a time of hope, of optimism after all the drabness of winter.   Autumn, on the other hand, tends to fill me with foreboding, glorious though the trees may be, as it heralds the coming of short, cold, grey days.

September seems to bring a powerful air of change as we move from the more relaxing days of summer.   August may have had a slower pace of life which regains its energy as people return from holiday and clubs restart while for others the hectic holiday season quietens down in September and things return to normal. The new academic year sees some of our children starting a new school and it makes me smile to see them going off in their new, rather too big, uniform.   Others will be leaving home for work or university and their parents have to adapt to the “empty nest” syndrome. 

In Brockenhurst, September this year brings with it an unusual change with Neil and Debbie’s departure.   We send them on their way with immense gratitude and appreciation for all they have done for the church and village community for over 10 years and with our prayers and good wishes for their new ministry in Southsea.   They will be greatly missed.

Inevitably they will leave an enormous gap which others will have to fill temporarily until a new appointment is made.   We are fortunate in having an experienced clergy and ministry team, established church office and diligent churchwardens and most things will continue uninterrupted.   But there are bound to be changes, some short term and others when a new vicar arrives.

Change brings uncertainty and can be exciting or unnerving.   Without change, however, nothing grows and without growth things die.   Whether it is plants in the garden, people or organisations, change is a sign of growth and life.   Trying to avoid it leads to stagnation and death.   We may not always welcome change but we do have a choice in how we respond to it.   Either we can regret that things are not as they used to be or we can see it as an opportunity, look for the positives and try to ensure that growth is healthy.   Of one thing we can be sure.   Whatever is going on around us, God’s love is constant and unchanging.   “God is my rock in whom I put my trust” (Psalm 18 verse 2).   If we remain firmly rooted in his love and use him as our guide, we can face the future, whatever the changes, with confidence and hope.

Wishing you all God’s blessings                                          Diane Webster


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